Monday, December 31, 2012

One Word Goal 2013 {Embrace}

This past year my one word goal was "Cherish." And to my surprise, I have thought about that word and how to apply it to my life almost daily for the entire year. I found something to cherish during the trying times (and believe me--we have had plenty this year!)

I cherished the time with my baby, even when he was fussy, because he was mine and healthy and won't be a baby for long.
I cherished the smile from one student during one of my most challenging classes.
I cherish the fact that we were all alive.
I slowed down. I reflected. I contemplated. I cherished.

And now a new year has come. And I need a new one word goal.

I have listened to General Conference from this past October several times. I love so many of the talks. But there is something about Pres. Uchtdorf's talk from Saturday morning that touches my heart. He was teaching how to live without regrets. And that is definitely my purpose in making a New Year's Resolution. I want to choose one word to focus on throughout the year so I can look back on 2013 without regrets.

Near the end of his talk, he stated:
"...No matter our circumstances, no matter our challenges or trials, there is something in each day to embrace and cherish. There is something in each day that can bring gratitude and joy if only we will see and appreciate it."


It is perfect because it will help me expand on what I have learned to cherish in 2012.

I am going to embrace those I love.
I am going to embrace my thoughts and ideas and turn them into actions.
I am going to embrace new opportunities.

I am going to embrace the changes that will come, the challenges we will face, the choices we make.
I am going to embrace motherhood: to appreciate the fun parts and to laugh at the hard parts.
I am going to embrace all of the blessings in my life.

I am going to embrace 2013.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

"The Nativity" FHE Lesson

I wanted to make an FHE lesson to go with our nativity. My plan was to have something that as we went through the lesson we would set up our nativity. I found these adorable nativity cards at Funky Polka Dot Giraffe and used them as a starting place. I also found a FHE Lesson by Jenny Phillips that was kind of similar and I used part of her lesson as well.

Before FHE: Print off pages 4-6 in the pdf document that Jenny Phillips uploaded. (If you want to participate in the activity later, don't look at page 5&6.) Also, you will need to print off all of the nativity cards at the Funky Polka Dot Giraffe. (Click the links above to go print those things.) Cut out the nativity cards and then hide them in your living room/ entire house--depending on how hard you want to make it. If your nativity is already set up, quickly take it down. If your kids ask why tell them it is a surprise for FHE so they will look forward to it.

Opening Song: Picture a Christmas (Children's Song Book #50)

Opening Prayer:

Opening Activity:  Give each family member a paper and pen. Let them all look at the “Can you tell what picture these are a part of?” sheet included in this packet (don’t let them see the answers), and give them 2 minutes to try to figure out as many of them as they can. They can write them down on the sheet if they think they know or want to guess. (If children are too young to write, you can just do it out loud together as a family.) After the two minutes are up, go over the answers, showing them the “big pictures.”

1) How much easier is it to tell what the picture is when you see the whole thing and not just a tiny portion of it? (Talk about how maybe they could tell a little of what the picture was, like a house, but didn’t realize it was part of a snow globe. You may be able to get glimpses of what something is, but can’t understand all of it without seeing the big picture.)
2) Christmas presents, decorations, and Christmas parties are just a “tiny portion” of the big picture of Christmas. If we are only looking at the candy and the decorations and the gifts, we will miss what the “big picture” really is. What really is the big picture of Christmas?

Transition: Today we are going to set up the Nativity. Everyone needs to go find one card that looks like this (show the one not hidden). Even if you see more cards, just take one and come back.

Lesson: Read the card then let that person take out that piece from the Nativity and set it up. Once all of the cards have been read for the first round, send everyone out to find another one. Continue until all 10 cards are found and the nativity is set up.

Activity: Make a Gingerbread Nativity and ask about each thing as you are making it. Basically reteach/ restate the quote you read about each piece while you make it. (The link is for a gingerbread nativity that I have seen floating around through pinterest.)

Closing Prayer:

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Gratitude Challenge {FHE Lesson}

With Thanksgiving quickly approaching and several people posting something they are grateful for each day this month, I thought it would be fun to start the month off with a gratitude lesson for FHE instead of waiting until the Monday before Thanksgiving. Hopefully it will help us learn to live in the Spirit of Thanksgiving Daily for the entire month instead of just one day.

Opening Song: #241 Count Your Blessings

Opening Prayer:


  • D&C 59:21
    • Ingratitude (confessing not His hand) offends God
  • Ask each family member to share a time when the Lord blessed them. 
    • Be prepared to help them remember stories from their individual lives. Do not hurry this part-- let everyone discuss and reminisce.

  • Now ask them to share a blessing they received from the Lord today. 
    • Explain that sometimes it is easier to remember the big blessings of the past, and that is important; but we should also remember the blessings He gives us every day. Be prepared to help them with ideas.
  • Watch the youtube video clip from Pres. Monson's talk about gratitude. (He reads the story of the 10 leppers then explains it a little bit. You could just read the story, but I like hearing the prophet's voice.)
    • Discuss Question Ideas:
      • What story did Pres. Monson read from the scriptures?
      • How many returned to give thanks?
      • How did Jesus respond to the grateful person?
      • Do you think it was easy for the one person to return? Why/ why not?
      • What does sincerely giving thanks do? (Pres. Monson listed two things after he read the story.)
      • Why is it important to give thanks?
      • What are three ways that you can be more like the one who returned and sincerely given thanks?
  • Read D&C 78:19
    • What do you think it means to "receive all things with thankfulness"?
    • How can we do that? (the next youtube video/ Mormon Message helps teach us how to do this.)
  • Watch the Mormon Message about Thanksgiving Daily.
  • Make a goal to live in the Spirit of Thanksgiving Daily as a family. One way to do that is to take the Gratitude Challenge. (See the Activity idea below.)
  • List 100 things that you are grateful for. What? 100 seems too large? It is easy if you take the Gratitude Challenge! Simply print the "i am grateful for..." chart for each member of the family. And then have everyone fill it in. It is not a race, nor secretive. Feel free to help each other list your 100 ideas. For young children: have them tell you and you write it down for them but I think they are still capable of listing all 100 things. After they finish, have them draw a picture on the back while you make your own list.

Closing Song: #219 Because I Have Been Given Much (fyi: I can't link this to play online because it is copyrighted... time to bust out those dusty paper hymnbooks)

Closing Prayer: 

  • Thanksgiving Blessing Mix
    • Talk about each thing in the trail mix while you are making it and what it represents. 
    • Print off some tags and put some in packages to share with your neighbors and friends.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Halloween Safety {FHE Lesson}

So remember the story of the Six Little Ghosts that I posted near the beginning of this month? Well, it is finally time to use them on Monday for a Halloween Safety Lesson!!Yeah Baby Bunny's first Halloween is almost here! :)

Opening Song: Choose the Right (Hymn 239)

Opening Prayer:

Scripture: Alma 57:21

Lesson: Read the story "Six Little Ghosts" If the children are old enough (aka Devin is too little... hahaha!), let them move the ghosts while you read. I'm thinking Baby Bunny will just watch though. And if you haven't had time to make the felt ghosts, just print some cute ghosts or draw your own and then color them in!

Activity: Give everyone a copy of "I Can Be Safe This Halloween!" The purpose of this is to draw a picture in the box and then write below explaining how they will be safe. After present each child with a "Halloween Safety Certificate." (Note: both of these are the pictures below. Save each picture to your computer then open it in Word Document and make it the full size of the paper. Then print off the number of copies you need.)

Closing Song: Do What is Right (Hymn 237)

Closing Prayer:

Treats: Make Ghostly Bananas (cut bananas in half then dip in melted white chocolate and add two chocolate chips for eyes) or Ghostly Nutter Butters (same thing but dip the Nutter Butter cookie in melted white chocolate and add chocolate chip eyes) or have hot chocolate with Ghost Droppings (marshmallows). These are just a few of my ghost ideas.... :)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Six Little Ghosts {Halloween Safety}

This has to be one of my favorite things about Halloween.
Each year the "Six Little Ghosts" would come out to play.
My mom would read the story and my siblings and I thought it was the greatest.
We LOVED putting the ghosts up on the flannel board.
My mom LOVED that it taught us good Halloween Safety Rules.
And even when we got older, we would still beg to get the ghosts out each year.

My mom made hers when she was at BYU studying Elementary Education.
She also made a *fancy* flannel board.
Well... I don't have a fancy flannel board.
Instead I used one of Devin's adorable blankets and draped it over our couch.
Ta-Dah! Instant (and cheap) flannel board.

Then to make the ghosts...
I found a cute ghost clipart I liked somewhere online.
Printed it off and cut it out.
Then traced 6 white ghosts and 1 of each color on to felt.
(For the chocolate chip ghost, I used tan and then drew on "chips")
I just drew random different face on each ghost with a sharpie.

Craft Skill Level: Super Easy
Time to Make: Around 30 minutes

And now for the story.
Seriously this is the best part!
I wanted something cute and festive.
So I retyped my mom's story and added some color and pictures.
A little side note:
I think I figured out how to upload a document to blogger.
It is saved as a picture.
So click on it and then save it to your computer.
Open it in Word and then make the picture full size.
Print. :)

We would do this for FHE every year before Halloween.
Make sure you check out the FHE Lesson Idea!

Monday, September 17, 2012

We Believe {FHE Idea}

I have thought a lot about the Articles of Faith since posting earlier about the Articles of Faith Puzzles that I made to go in our Reverent Bags. I realized that although I probably used to know them at one point in time, I wasn't very confident on reciting them. Shoot. Forget reciting them, I wasn't even sure I knew what some of them talked about. {guilty look} I was determined to (re)memorize them all again because I want to be able to teach Baby Bunny. I can't teach him that which I don't know myself. And so, this Family Home Evening was created. FYI: I am falling in love with because the ideas generally came from their Articles of Faith page. I even adapted this lesson from there. :) And there are TONS of ideas--if you want to look for a different activity/ lesson/ etc!

Opening Song:  


Scripture:  "...and they that believe in him shall be saved."  2 Nep 2:9

Lesson Intro:  What are the Articles of Faith? Who wrote them? Why were they written? How are they important to us today? (This last question might be something to think about during the lesson and then come back to it at the end.)

Story:  When Joseph Smith was the prophet of our church, a man named Mr. John Wentworth who was the Editor of the Chicago Democrat newspaper asked him to write a letter for him about our church.  This is what the letter that Joseph Smith wrote him was like.  (Read letter, and display picture of Joseph)  At the end of his letter Joseph Smith wrote the Articles of Faith, and that is how the Articles of Faith came to be.

7 March 1842

At the request of Mr. Wentworth, I have written the following sketch of the rise, progress, persecution, and faith of the Latter-day Saints, of which I have the honor under God, of being the founder.  Mr Wentworth says that he wishes to furnish Mr. Bastow, a friend of his, who is writing the history of New Hampshire, with this document.

When I was fourteen I began to ponder religion.  I knew that all the churches couldn't be right, so I went to a grove of trees, and asked God which church was true.  He told me that none of them were, and that in the future I would know the fullness of the gospel.  A few years later an angel came and told me about the gold plates, and that I would be the one to translate them and bring the gospel back to the earth.

On the 6th of April, 1830, the "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" was first organized.  We as members of the church were treated very badly by people that didn't believe the same way we did.  We were driven from county to county, and state to state, and many of our people were sick and dying.  We
arrived in Illinois in 1839, where we began to build Nauvoo, "our city beautiful".

Our missionaries are going forth to different nations, and the Standard of Truth has been erected; no unshallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may raise, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every climb, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purpose of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done.  (the articles of faith follow this)

                Joseph Smith

 Activity:  Play with the Article of Faith Puzzles. Could make it a race to see how fast you can work to get the pieces all together. Or give everyone their own card(s) and have them find all the pieces they need for their card then read each Article of Faith. 

Challenge: Memorize all 13 Articles of Faith. I printed off some punch cards to keep track of the progress. (Note: I used the ones in the link--just edited them and took off the green background to save on color ink.) Then on the back of each of our punch we wrote down a reward. I would suggest that it be a non-food reward for each person individually. Examples: 13 minutes staying up later, 13 minutes of extra screen time/ video games, 13 minute massage, etc. Have everyone pick something that would be a reward to them to help keep them motivated to memorize. And then once everyone in the family has completed their cards then go out for ice cream.

Closing Song:  

Closing Prayer:

Treats: We "Bee"lieve (pick a treat to make... or simply have something with honey...)

(And seeing the cards everyday has helped!
I currently have 12/13 memorized. 
The last one I need to work on is #10.)

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Scriptures: a friend in disguise

My little sister is down to her last days in the MTC. A letter she wrote home a few weeks ago told us how she was preparing for a fireside. She went with an open heart, seeking answers to her questions. Her answer was to memorize scriptures in Spanish.

When, I wrote back to her, I sent her this quote.

"Great power can come from memorizing scriptures. To memorize a scripture is to forge a new friendship. It is like discovering a new individual who can help in time of need, give inspiration and comfort, and be a source of motivation for needed change. (2011 October General Conference, The Power of Scripture, Sat. Morning Session - Richard G. Scott)"

Anyway, I continued to think about what Elder Scott said. I need someone that can give me inspiration and comfort all the time. Being a mom is hard and I often wonder what I'm doing. Sometimes I just want a hug and the only one around is the fussy baby. I decided to take Elder Scott's challenge. I'm working on building life long friendships (in English).

I found this awesome app from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It helps you memorize all of the scripture mastery verses and Articles of Faith. I installed "LDS Scripture Mastery" and started using it. Because lets be honest, I definitely don't have these all memorized even though I'm a seminary graduate. And even the ones I did have memorized once upon a time could for sure use a refresher course. My goal is one verse a day!

So here is to creating comfort, finding inspiration and making life long friends.
(And another motivation to memorize is so I can teach Baby Bunny the scriptures better. Win-Win!)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

These are MY Pearls

Summer 2009.
That was an eventful time in our lives.
Casey returned from his mission.
We started dating.
And quickly became engaged.
(Then married later that fall.)
But it was also my last summer as an EFY counselor.
(The only downside to marriage... No more EFY but I wouldn't trade anyway!)
Every year EFY has a new CD.
And I love each song on all of my many years of EFY CDs.
But for some reason, "More Than the World" from 2009 has stuck with me.
I think about this song when I have nothing else to think about, when I have
         plenty of things to think about.
When I'm happy or crazy busy. It doesn't matter-- I constantly think about
         this song.
So I made a list o my own personal pearls.
It mostly follows the style of the original but I never tried singing it so I doubt
         it fits the rhythm perfectly.
But these truly are MY PEARLS!
These are the things worth living for when the rest of life seems crummy,
         stressed, or forgotten.
(I borrowed the original song's chorus...)

Baby hugs
My boys in ties
Homemade bread
And clothes my size.

Steamy showers
Goodnight kisses
Morning smiles
And sparkling dishes.

Holding hands
Getting snail mail
Sweet love notes
And my kitty tail.

Sleeping in
Then waking up
To fancy breakfasts
And (chocolate) milk in a cup.

People have told me how to be happy
But I find their remedies empty
These are my pearls
God's treasures unfurled
Mean more to this girl
More than the world to me.

Writing a post
On my blog
Cuddling with my loves
While sipping egg nog

Long phone calls
With my mom
Pumpkin pie
And pumpkin cookies are the bomb

Staying home
Then going out in the sunny
Holding my baby
And dating Honey Bunny

Family dinners
Baby chatter
Taking walks
And rain pitter patter.

People have told me how to be happy
But I find their remedies empty
These are my pearls
God's treasures unfurled
Mean more to this girl
More than the world to me.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Mother's Lounge

Ever since I was a teenager, I was blessed with the wonderful opportunity to help clean the church at mutual. Let's be honest though, cleaning the building nights was not exactly my favorite mutual activity but I would still go.

There was one room though that I always loved cleaning. And that was the mothers's nursing lounge. I had dreams of someday being able to sit in such a place and hold my dear little baby. I would look at the rocking chair with fondness and look to the future when I would someday be able to sit in that chair for the purpose it was intended.

Fast Forward to last summer when we moved into our new apartment which also meant attending a new ward. I noticed the mother's nursing lounge the first Sunday we went to the new building. After you enter the women's restroom, there is a door immediately inside with the beautiful letters "Mother's Lounge" written on the door. And so my dream to be able to step foot inside this room continued every time I had to use the restroom at church.

I was so curious as to what the room would look like. I had concluded that this must be a beautiful, large room. Obviously who ever designed the building must have designed this room to be a grand suite because (1) it was IN the restroom and (2) it had its own door. I have been in some buildings where the lounge was attached to the restroom but there was no door and other buildings where the lounge was no where near the restroom. Once we found out I was pregnant, reality set in that I would soon be able to set foot into this room. And so my imagination went wild as I pictured what this glorious room looked like.

We were all on time for church today. And Devin was even content enough that I was able to listen to the discussion on missionary work in Relief Society. But I realized that he had about had it and I could either go feed him during Sunday School or I could attempt to keep him quiet knowing that he wouldn't survive very long and possibly have to miss taking the Sacrament because I was feeding my baby. As luxurious as this room must be, there is nothing that it worth missing taking the Sacrament each week.

With diaper bag around my shoulder and Devin and blanket in my arms, I headed towards the Mother's Lounge. Excitement spread through my body as I walked down the hallway because I would finally have a reason to open the door.

The moment arrived. I opened the door. Gasp. Pause. Smile.

So much for a luxurious suite. The two rocking chairs take up practically the entire room. But obviously this room is busy because there are two plastic chairs stuffed awkwardly in there as well. And there is a changing table (which practically opens onto the lap of one of the rocking chairs) and a sink. Well, it wasn't big but it still had a purpose to serve.

And I enjoyed being able to sit and rock my baby while he ate. It was a wonderful moment and one that won't last for very many months and so I chose to love every second of my over crowded, squeaky chair Mother's Lounge experience.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Choose 2 Build

It seems that no matter what situation I'm faced with, I always have two choices. I can choose to be a builder or a wrecker. I have been chewing on this idea for awhile and as much a I would love to say, "I'm always a builder!" I'm not. Unfortunately, I do my share of wrecking from time to time.

Let me explain this idea of building and wrecking through some examples I have recently faced.

Winco has some killer sales going on right now! We are talking prices too good to pass up type of a deal! :) Well Casey would prefer that I go shopping without him but I love being together. I convince him to be my companion and so we brave the beyond busy store together. Once we return home, I was quickly distracted by something else and left the ground beef on the counter.  Casey discovered it and put some away in the fridge and put some in the freezer. Earlier, I had told him that I wanted to cook all of the ground beef and then freeze it in Ziploc bags. (Tip for easier/ faster dinners! If the meat is precooked, it makes things so much easier when faced with having to throw something together a few minutes before your spouse arrives home from work. I can already see that precooking the meat will be a huge lifesaver when my arms are already full with Baby Bunny and I'm still trying to pull something together for dinner!) I later go to cook all the ground beef and realize that half of it is missing, only to find it stuffed in the freezer.

I have two choices.  I can choose to be a wrecker and get upset and chew Casey out. I mean, I am totally justified because he knew I was planning on cooking it all right away and he was obviously trying to make my life more difficult. By taking my frustration out on him, I become his wrecker. The chances of me convincing him to go shopping with me again or help put groceries away in the future are slim. And who can blame him for not wanting to help or be with me at the store if I'm just going to tear him down. I wouldn't want to be with me either if I was a wrecker.

My second choice is to take a deep breath (and maybe count to 10) and realize that Casey was not purposefully trying to make my life more difficult. I know this because he loves me and he wants what is best for me. He cares about me and our family. Even though the prices at Winco are cheap, it still has a price to be paid. We are on a tight budget! I'm sure his intention was to not let the meat we just bought go bad on the counter and the fridge was already packed so the freezer was the only option for some of the meat. And so I can choose to be a builder. I can thank him for taking the time to go to the store with me and tell him how grateful I am that he remembered to put away the groceries. Because of his love language, one of the best ways for me to be his builder is to give him a big hug and kiss as I explain how much it means to me that he took the time to be so helpful.

I can choose to build him up instead of wreck him down.

Another example. Casey recently changed the toilet paper. He put it on the wrong way. (Yes, I totally believe that the toilet paper has a right and wrong way!!) I can wreck him by complaining about him doing it wrong or I can build by appreciating that he took the time to change it. The more I become a builder, the more Casey is willing to help me with the little things in the future.

Think about the laundry and how to load a dishwasher and who does what chores and how to decorate/ arrange a nursery and etc. It seems almost every situation in marriage is either an opportunity to be a builder or the chance to be a wrecker. Fortunately, if I happen to choose to be a wrecker, I can always apologize and then refocus on how to build.

I'm working each day to be a builder. Are you?

Friday, June 1, 2012

A Change of Hats

Goodbye dress pants and fancy shoes.  Hello capris and flip-flops.
Goodbye alarm clocks.  Hello crying. (soon)
Goodbye contract time.  Hello to hoping to leave the house sometime during the am hours.
Goodbye 8 hour work day.  Hello 24/7.
Goodbye bell schedule.  Hello no schedule. (though crossing my fingers that we can get Baby Bunny on a schedule sooner than later!!)
Goodbye grading papers.  Hello writing more blogs. (at least for now--who knows what will happen in a few weeks!)
Goodbye bulletin board making.  Hello craft projects.
Goodbye dirty (I tried so hard to make the kids keep it clean and throw away their trash.  Sometimes, this worked better than others....) classroom.  Hello clean home.
Goodbye cooking labs.  Hello dinner.
Goodbye 200+ kids.  Hello 1 baby.

Goodbye teacher.  Hello mommy.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

I'm "TIE-ing" to be like Daddy

I just finished making a tie for Baby Bunny. It took about an hour but I imagine the next ones will be even faster now that I know what I'm doing.

It velcros in the back. (It has two pieces--the actual tie part and the neck band part....) Cheating, I know but it works pretty well and makes it so I won't have to re-tie it every Sunday. And I might have to adjust the length when my handsome baby is actually here. :)

P.S. I bought the white shirt and pants. There is NO way I would make a collared baby shirt--that would be a nightmare.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Hardest Decision...

All growing up and even throughout college, I always knew what my decision would be. Ask any of my students who share my common dream and the decision is easy. They can all tell me exactly what I should do. And I thought I would know instantly too. But no. This really was the hardest decision.

The hardest decision. It does not involve anything along the lines of being temple worthy. Those are all easy choices. It does not matter what I wear or what we decide to order when we go out to eat. Deciding where to live and what to major in even seem easy in comparison.

The hardest decision. Do I continue working next year or do I stay home and be a mom? Is this my first and last year of teaching or is Baby Bunny going to be raised by someone else? I always thought the choice would be a piece of cake because the only thing I have ever dreamed I was being a mom.

When I was little, and others would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I had one answer-- a mommy. The reason I chose my major was because it was the closest thing I could find to teaching me motherly skills. I worked hard and graduated from college with an excellent GPA but always planned on using it to bless my children-- never to actually teach.

So why when I'm faced with the opportunity I have always longed for does the choice all of the sudden become the hardest one with no clear direction?!

I was torn. My students need me. My baby needs me. We need the money. We need things of far greater worth than money. Casey needs to finish school and have a stable income. Baby Bunny needs a mommy and have a stable life. I enjoy my job, I like teaching, I want to become a level 2 teacher, next year would be SO much easier. I think I will enjoy being a mom but really have no idea. Back and forth like a see-saw. My principal pushing for an answer, one way or the other and me being scared to step forward in either direction.

I was stuck. Unsure, hesitant, scared.

Finally we turned the matter over to the Lord. And decided to just walk forward trusting either answer by making a commitment of yes or no. Teacher and Mother together or Mother.

General Conference hit me. Going to the temple hit me. My constant thoughts hit me. I knew where I am meant to be next year. I was still terrified. I had no idea what to expect from my principal. Her initial reaction was far from what I could have ever guessed would happen. We ended up talking about General Conference and the temple and the most important work I will ever do while I gave her an answer to my hardest decision.

And so the hardest decision melted away. I'm at peace.

I get to stay home and raise Baby Bunny. I get to answer his questions when they arise and find joy in the everyday things he does. I get to be a mommy! :)

I will miss my students (on most days). And I will miss talking to friends (co-workers). And I have no idea what it is like to stay home with a constant tag-a-long and to rarely have break. But I'm excited to learn.

And we are still keeping our faith in Heavenly Father and trusting that He knows what He is doing!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Mission Mommyhood

As I was sitting through my sister's missionary themed Sacrament meeting a couple of Sundays ago, I was kind of feeling a little bit sad about never having the opportunity to serve a mission myself. Instead, I married my best friend about five months after he came home from his mission. And seeing how we are the same age, a mission for me was out.

My thoughts have continued to chew on this. And someday when we are all grown up with silver hairs sprouting up all over our heads we are going to serve a mission together. I'm so excited for that because I will always get to be with my favorite companion!

But as for right now, we have a whole life ahead of us to live together. And I thought my mission would have to wait. But I realized I have been called to a different mission...

I am hereby called to serve as a mother. I am assigned to labor in my home. It is anticipated that I will serve for not only a period of 18 years but for all eternity.

I should plan to report to the hospital on or around June 23, 2012. I should prepare to preach the gospel in the English language.

My purpose is to invite Baby Bunny " come unto Christ by helping [him] receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end...."

"The Lord will reward you for the goodness of your life. Greater blessings and more happiness than you have yet experienced await you as you humbly and prayerfully serve the Lord in this labor of love among His children. We place our confidence in you and pray that the Lord will help you become an effective [mommy]."

I have been called to a mission! The most sacred and honored position and one that I have been preparing for and anticipating my whole life. And I'm ready to serve!

(Quotes and ideas were taken from my sister's mission call. This post is in no way intended to make fun of or degrade her or any missionary's sacred calling.)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Touched by GC

I look forward to two weekends every year. It is consistent and I can always plan on which weekends will bring this excitement. Maybe I look forward to eating treats out of our 72 hour kit. Or maybe I look forward to eating monkey bread (it should be ready soon!). Or maybe one of the biggest things I look forward to is staying up late on Saturday night eating Casey's favorite treat as he reports all of his notes. {This year he picked pecan pie. I made pecan pie bars and they were SO yummy! :) And I loved hearing his Priesthood Session report too--can't wait until I can read/ listen to Pres. Uchtdorf's talk!} Or maybe I just look forward being able to spend the whole weekend together as a family.

Although I love all of these things, they are definitely not the reason I look forward to General Conference so much! I love being able to hear messages that are intended for people of this time. I love knowing that these people speaking are really called of God and truly are inspired. I love finding tiny insights from listening to the talks of something I could use in my life. I love hearing answers to prayers. I love feeling the spirit testify that what is spoken is true.

I look forward to listening to conference over and over again as I drive. I am excited to be able to download the talks sooner now, instead of just having to wait to for the Ensign next month. I can't wait to make these words spoken become part of my life and part of who I am.

Yesterday as we were watching from our home, Casey had to go retrieve the box of Kleenexes. We will just blame that on pregnancy hormones because I don't ever remember crying during conference before. But I was so touched. It was exactly what I needed to hear. I can't wait for even more spiritual nourishment today! :)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Learning Your Love Language {FHE Idea}

We had this Family Home Evening this past week.  It works well for a couple but would totally work for families with children as well.  We both enjoyed it and learned a lot from it that I thought it was worth sharing! :)

Song: "I Love to See the Temple" (Primary Songbook page 95)
Opening Prayer:
Scripture: Jacob 3:7 (the first half is great! You could probably find a better scripture if you looked though...)
Lesson: I read the section about Love from True to the Faith.  And then because it is still just the two of us (two and a half of us?? LoL!), I also read the first two paragraphs and the last section called "Achieving a Happy Marriage" from Marriage in True to the Faith.
Application: (This was the best part of the lesson!!) We each went to and took the assessment.  We took it separately--but at the same time and then talked about our results afterwards.  This would also work for children because there is a quiz for kids as well.  For those of you that have never heard about the Love Languages, Gary Chapman has written several books about how we each feel love in a different "language."  You have to learn to speak the language of your spouse/ children in order for them to feel loved.  It really is interesting to see how the other person feels loved because then I can purposefully do things that say "I Love You" for Casey and he can do the same for me.
Song: "Love at Home" (Hymn number 294)
Closing Prayer:
Treat: I just made pistachio pudding and then we had bananas on top--sounds strange but it was delicious and healthy!  I was thinking it would be fun to make your spouse's favorite treat or possibly something heart shaped (look at this website for "love" shaped food ideas).
Activity: After learning each other's (children's) love languages--do something together that shows the love.  Generally most people have different love languages so for 5-10 minutes or so, the wife can do something to show love in her husband's language and then switch.
P.S. If you are curious about what our love languages are, check back soon.  I will write another post about that later! :)  And, I just wanted to add that throughout this week, we have been working hard on continuing to speak our spouse's love language.  It has been a wonderful week and one that will hopefully continue forever! :D

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Dreams Come True

When I was a teenager, I drew a picture for my three major goals.  I honestly have not really thought about it very often since drawing it but decided it would be perfect for today.  My dreams really are coming true--one step at a time!!  And I honestly feel so blessed because together we really are
"Living Our Dream Life" (or at least I am...).

Dream 1: Graduate with my Bachelor's degree from BYU--check.
Dream 2: Marry my best friend in the Salt Lake Temple--check.  (Sidenote... if you will notice my handsome hubby even has on a green bow tie--check.)
And finally Dream 3: Be a Mommy--soon-to-be check.

Now, if you will please look at our baby and the color of the blanket.  My dreams really are coming true--exactly.

It's a BOY!
P.S. My stick figure self portrait skills have an identity crisis.  I have no idea how to draw myself with short hair... LoL! :)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Value of a Recipe

I have not written very many teaching experiences.  But I thought this one would get some laughs.

The goal for today was that students would understand why recipes are so important and all the different things a recipe requires.  I'm pretty sure I met my teaching goal and I highly doubt many of the students will forget the lesson.

I had everyone get out a piece of paper and write a recipe for a peanut butter sandwich.  Luckily, they are a good class and easily cooperated.  I gave them maybe 5 minutes or so do this.  During that time I went into the lab and got out all the ingredients I needed.  The students had no idea I was doing this because they were in the classroom.  I then came back in and once mostly everyone was finished, I had them put their pencils down and explained that if a pencil was picked up again, they were disqualified.  I then brought everything into the classroom.

One student comes up and reads his recipe exactly.  No changes or speaking clarification could be added--just the recipe as it was written.

Get out 2 slices of bread.  I struggle with the bread sack, was trying to rip it open but didn't want to actually destroy it, attempt the twist tie but that didn't work so I gave up.  The class groaned.

Put the knife in the peanut butter and put some on the bread.  I take the plastic knife and attempt to stab the jar with no success.  So I picked up the jar and placed it on the loaf of bread--since I didn't even have a slice out.  The class screamed--NO you're squishing the bread!!

Put the knife in the jelly and put some on the bread.  Basically the same thing from before.

We talked about the value of a recipe.  The class then told me that no recipes says untwist the bread sack, unscrew the lid, etc and that recipes assume you can do that.  I emphasized that assuming just got us to squished bread but agreed to try the recipe again.

Following the same recipe, the kid basically ended up with a bread sandwich.  I had no idea how much some was.  I told them that I met the requirements for the recipe.  Fortunately the kid was a good sport and was laughing.

So I try a different girl's recipe.

Get out two slices of bread.  Check.

Put a large amount of peanut butter on the bread.  So I used the knife and scooped a fairly large chunk and then just left that glob on one corner of the bread.  The peanut butter had no instructions to spread.  The class again shrieked.

Spread jam on the entire slice of bread.  Can you guess where this is going?  Yup, I literally spread jam on both sides of the bread and the crust.  My hand was sticky.  The class gasped at this because I was wasting food.  The girl thought she had the perfect recipe and about died when her slice of bread was completely covered.

Put bread together and clean up.  The peanut butter stayed up and well, there was jam everywhere.  I do have to say that I liked her cleaning instructions though!

At this point, I talked to them about specifics and clear instructions.  I emphasized that a good recipe should turn out the exact same time no matter who made it.

So I try making one last sandwich.

2 slices of bread.  Check.

Spread 1 t. of Peanut Butter on one side of one piece of bread.  I used a spoon and used my best guess for how much 1 t. really was because I didn't want to go get the measuring spoons out in the other room.  But we were making progress with this recipe.

Spread 1 t. of Jelly on one side of the other piece of bread.  My students are catching on!

Form the sandwich by placing the peanut butter and jelly together.  So I placed it together but made it into an 8 pointed star rather than a normal square sandwich.

Then they had to look at various recipes that had purposefully had different parts missing and identify what was missing.  This is probably on my top favorite list of lessons I have taught because the students learned and we both enjoyed it.  And I doubt it will ever be forgotten.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

One Word Goal

I have been thinking about all my goals and dreams for this new year.  And I have been trying to pick one word to summarize all of them.  Last year my one word goal was HEALTHY.  My whole life which in turn became our whole lives became healthy.

This year I wanted my one word goal to be BABY because it is an easy goal.  But I kept thinking about it and decided that BABY is something more a long the lines of a "to-do" list rather than a "to-be" list.  In many ways you can check off having a baby.  Go to doctors appointments--check.  Get baby stuff--check.  Baby showers--check.  Decorate a nursery, maternity clothes, go to the hospital.  Check, check, check.  So maybe BABY is not the best one word goal for 2012.

As I continued to keep debating my 2012 goal, I thought about the quote by Elder Lynn G. Robbins,
"Many of us create to do lists to remind us of the things we want to accomplish.  But people rarely have to be lists.  Why?  To do's are activities or events that can be checked off the list when done.  To be, however is never done.  You can't earn checkmarks with to be's."  
I need something deeper, something that will help me become more Christlike and something to develop my character... a "to be" rather than a "to do."

After much contemplation I think I have finally decided my 2012 one word goal to be CHERISH.  I really think working on this word has the power to change my nature and guide me to following Christ even more.

CHERISH is defined as (1) to hold or treat as dear; to feel love for, (2) to care for tenderly; nurture, and (3) to cling fondly or inveterately to.

I can CHERISH my time being pregnant and the time remaining with just the two of us.  I can CHERISH my relationship with my husband and help it keep growing even deeper.  I can CHERISH our baby and becoming a mommy.  I can CHERISH my time in the scriptures deepening my conviction.  I can CHERISH my students and all the excitement the new semester is bound to bring.  I can CHERISH my life and health.  I can CHERISH each day and each moment, even the struggles.  I am sure I can find countless other things to CHERISH day in and day out for the entire 2012 year.

So here is to CHERISHING all the 2012 has to offer! :)